I received my novella, Blood in the Past, back from the editor weeks ago. I’ve been working on rewrites feverishly since then to add stuff. That’s right. Add. Stuff. I’m the only writer in the history of the world whose editor requested they add stuff. But more on that later. Here’s what I learned during this first round of edits.
- I’m wordy. Now, as a reader, I hate description overkill. I don’t need a paragraph to explain how green the grass is or a page to show how mangy a stray cat is. I also don’t need to know what everyone is wearing. In fact, details like that pull me from the story. She’s wearing a purple sweater? Hmm, I pictured her wearing a red sweater. I guess that’s because red is my favorite color. I wish I had a red sweater. Wait, I do! Is that clean? Where is that sweater? See what I mean? Anyway, the point is that I tried to avoid that in my own writing. However, I often add sentence fragments of description. For effect. My editor left the ones that actually were effective. But there were many, many redundant ones. Yikes.
- I don’t tell enough. You know how you’re not supposed to write as though the reader is dumb? Well apparently I take it a step further and write as though the reader is telepathically connected to me. I assume they know things I know and see things I see. Dammit.
- I tell too much. In contrast to the bullet point above, sometimes I skip having information come out in conversation or thought and just tell the reader stuff. Tsk, tsk.
And this is where the adding of stuff comes in. I’ve been adding extra scenes and dialogue sequences like a mad woman. Still hoping for an end of March release, but we’ll see. Wish me luck.